1923 5

Pon Honor Stores was a local chain of grocery stores founded by George E. Archambeault and Clarence McAllister. 1,5 It started with the Royal Grocery on Piedmont Avenue c.1906, and grew to 39 stores by 1928 when they were purchased by Public Food Stores of San Francisco. 7 The used the tag line "we split the nickel."

c.1912 8

The first reference to Royal Grocery in the Tribune is a want ad looking for a delivery wagon driver, address 4108 Piedmont Ave. in 1907. 2 A 1917 ad lists Royal Grocery (store no. 1; credit and delivery) on the lower floor and Royal Grocerteria (store no. 2; cash and carry) on the mezzanine at 4001-03-05 Piedmont Ave. 3 in the Julia Morgan-designed Fred C. Turner Shopping Center building.

from 1925 ad

By 1920, the Royal Grocerteria chain had grown to 8 stores including one in Hayward and one in San Leandro, and they announced they were changing the name to Pon Honor:

In selecting a new name for these eight busy grocerterias we decided that the name PON HONOR would convey to the public our one desire to be always upon honor in all business dealings with our customers; to serve them intelligently and honestly; to work for their interests as well as our own and to give you the lowest prices commensurate with good merchandise.
No Change of Management—the Same Dependable Service as Always. 4

The chain grew rapidly, and in 1923 opened its 17th store, and a new headquarters and warehouse at 416 - 3rd Street. (That building is now home to Federation Brewing and other businesses.) A December 1927 article showed a picture of store 32 at 3438 Fruitvale Avenue, and said they had recently signed leases for stores 33 and 34. 6

Less than a year later, it was announced that Public Food Stores of San Francisco was buying the chain. The article also announced that Skaggs-Safeway was buying Sanitary Foods of Washington, D.C. 7

1928 directory listing

No. Address City
HQ 416-420 - 3rd St. Oakland
1 4001 Piedmont Ave. Oakland
2 5401 Grove (MLK) Oakland
3 3828 Grove (MLK) Oakland
4 1318 - E14th St. San Leandro
5 46 Grand Ave. Oakland
6 338 - 14th St. Oakland
7? 567 Main St. Hayward
8 3338 Telegraph Ave. Oakland
17 5307 Fairfax Ave. Oakland
32 3848 Grand Ave. Oakland
  Ysabel Manor Apartments, 1824 Park Blvd. Oakland
  Capwell Central Market Oakland
  5650 College Ave. Oakland
  5802 Foothill Blvd. Oakland
  3438 Fruitvale Ave. Oakland
  3224 Grand Ave. Oakland
  3807 Hopkins Oakland
  3532 Park Blvd. Oakland
  2425 Telegraph Ave. Oakland
  3109 Telegraph Ave. Oakland
  3432 E.14th St. Oakland
  1205 Park St. Alameda
  1516 Park St. Alameda
  3024 Ashby Ave. Berkeley
  2252 Bancroft Way Berkeley
  2967 College Ave. Berkeley
  1405 Grove (MLK) Berkeley
  1647 Hopkins Ave. Berkeley
  1597 Solano Ave. Berkeley
  2358 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley
  2804 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley
  1903 University Ave. Berkeley

No. 1 - 8 are from the 1920 announcement; the others are from the 1928 directory listing.

Links and References

1920 name change 4

  1. George E. Archambeault obituary Oakland Tribune January 23, 1962
  2. want ad Oakland Tribune June 19, 1907
  3. ad Oakland Tribune November 20, 1917
  4. announcement ad Oakland Tribune June 11, 1920
  5. Great Growth of "Pon Honor" Oakland Tribune July 22, 1923
  6. Big Total of Sales Is Given by Pon Honor Oakland Tribune December 18, 1927
  7. Chain Stores in $6,000,000 Bay Mergers Oakland Tribune October 6, 1928
  8. A Grocery Palace California Grocers Advocate November 1912